Wednesday, February 29, 2012

courage: noun

The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.

Before I start today's blog I am posting the link to a follow up on last Wednesday's WOYWW where I was packing up to go to a crop in Tenneessee and I also had a half finished layout on my desk then. So if you want to see the finished layout and a couple ( I didn't take too many pictures while I was there, sorry ) of pictures from the place where we went then click here!
Now back to the scheduled WOYWW post:

hmmmm? I really do need to clean. For some reason, I never think it's THAT bad until I take a picture of think climbing over stuff would give me a clue, but nope, nada!
Let's see what's on the floor, shall we? Submissions for Halloween is abounding around me, LOVE doing Halloween btw, I think it's the colors that get me going!   ( On the floor are paper lines My Little Shoebox and Reminisce. )  I just realized I have both Halloween and Easter going on at the same time, fun life of someone that publishes their cards, you have to think in terms of MONTHS before the actual holiday!       You'll NOT see the wreath that I promised you I would have finished today, nope, it's been abandoned and on the right corner of the picture you will see instead the very large bunny hanging door doo dad I am making instead...can we say ADD? short attention spam? lack of desire to continue the wreath? HA! Under the bunny's head is a box containing all the goodies I have been collecting for my Altered Book class by one of the WOYWW ladies, Elizabeth's Altered Book Lover blog. I'll get to that in a minute :)
The actual desktop..... a Cricut Card Fairy card that needs to be addressed and mailed, ribbons from Really Reasonable Ribbon ( I really, really want to be on their DT, this will be my third attempt, it's hard to keep trying for something and fail over and over, this might be my last try. )

Now as to the altered book, ::sigh::...I have settled into the knowledge that I'll be behind everyone else as altering a book is hard for me. lol I am having a hard time tearing out ANY pages to ANY book it seems. I have changed my book several times and that didn't help so I guess I have to wrap my head around the idea that it is better to alter a book than for it to grow dust and die a literary death on some abandoned book shelf. ( oh, I almost waxed poetic there for a moment, lol ) But anyway I regress, I am having a good time collecting ephemera for it and here it is ----------------------------------> I wonder if anyone can guess my theme? I'll give you another clue, if you read my blog, then know the book will be influenced by a certain friend who visited me for my birthday!
A couple of weeks ago my water fountain got taken from the backyard of where I am living. Now I didn't get overly excited about that as it was placed out in the yard of the apartment complex, but with their permission I might add. Stolen is stolen and I took it with a grain of salt. Then the other day I was out on the balcony and looked down among the other balconies, and guessed what my little eye spied?
The man walking back to his truck is the person who runs our apartment and I had called him to report that I had found my fountain! So here I am hanging off the railing, camera in one hand and phone in the other talking to him! lol
It never ceases to amaze me what the human being thinks. I'll give this person the benefit of the doubt, like maybe he thought it was left behind by a tenant and so .....well....stealing is stealing no matter how you try and write about it. In the end, I just wanted it returned to me. It's old and not in the best of shape but it was one of the last gifts given to me by my mother before she died. So sentimentality reigns supreme here. I have since removed the top tier from it and plan on incorporating it somehow on my porch plants, so in case it gets stolen again at least I will have it remember it by, lol Whenever I figure that out I'll post a picture of it.
and lastly for my shutterbugs, we are working on motion and ghosting images so here is a shot I took while messing around with a tutorial I was making on ribbon bee wings. Set up on a tripod, shutter speed 1/15 second. I love how you can see the needle and thread through my hand ( ghosting ) which also shows movement. :)

Well the hills of North Carolina are a little damp and overcast today, but I have errands to run ( like getting my latest accepted submission out to the mailbox ) before I can come home and spend the rest of my day going through all the hundreds of WOYWW blogs. I really enjoy them and are making some new friends along the way...all from being nosey, go figure! :) So get comfy and go check them out too, it's addicting and fun!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

bulk: noun

(of paper, cardboard, yarn, etc.) thickness, especially in relation to weight

Now everyone knows that bulk = more money when it comes to mailing a card and since I mail out a lot of cards ( as a Cricut Card Fairy ) I need to keep the bulk down. One of the ways you can add texture without adding height to your card is by using ribbon. You can see I added some rick rack ribbon on the bottom of the doll ( replacing the strip of paper that would have been cut out by the Cricut ) So think ribbon instead of paper for texture.

Look closely and you will also see I added some lime green satin ribbon behind the opening of the flower and added some glossy accents to the heart. Both great ways to add texture to your card without adding more bulk.

And since the recipient loves nesting dolls I thought I would carry the theme a little further by adding another smaller doll on the inside of the card. And a little stickling adds some nice bling!
( more texture!! )

Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Me Monday #100
Paisley cartridge
Really Reasonable Ribbon
Recollections Textured paper stack
Reminisce white pen
Ranger Glossy Accents and stickles
Helmars 450

Now if it was only this easy to remove some bulk off of my own body....
ribbon wouldn't work... would it?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Liebster blog awards: noun

sweetheart, beloved person, darling

I think in reality the Liebster blog award should also be given back to the person who awarded it to you. After all it's meant to get us more followers and what better way to say thank you than to have more people go back to their blog and join as a follower? So I have been nominated twice this week which means I have 10 people to award this week. ( sorry I have been out of town on a scrapbooking crop so I am a little behind! )

First 2
First I want to say thank you to Zoe at CraftygasheadZo and to Nancy from Always a Story ~ Creations by Nancy for thinking of me! You are both sweethearts!

and the remaining 8
 whom I am hoping everyone will visit their blogs, because there's an awesome variety of talented ladies; writing, gardening, crafting, and painting blogs, something for everyone to appreciate and please join as their followers!

I also had a wonderful box of Helmar goodies waiting for me on my doorstep when I returned from my scrapbooking week-end!

and the coveted red eraser...want to know the story behind the eraser?, then like Helmar FB page, and join the nuts ladies on Monday nights for a serious fun time of crafting!

I haven't done a Crookedbrains post lately so I will leave you with this cool little stapler:

Stampler: It looks and works like a normal stapler but it has a little addition; its an attachment that prints a smiling face design at the same time.

Cool and Creative Office Supplies (15) 8

Saturday, February 25, 2012

crop: noun

a collection or group of persons or things appearing or occurring together: a whole bunch of ladies scrapbooking in one location!

Hi everyone, sorry I've been missing in action for a couple of days, but I am scrapping my heart out, working my fingers done to the bone girl!....oh, you want the truth? You don't believe me??!!...::gasp::.... ok.....I've been eating, talking and shopping and occasionally scrapping, lol!! I've managed to do a whole 4 pages since I've been here. Here is one ( was half way completed before I got here so I should say I've done 3 1/2 pages, HA! )

Winter Wonderland cartridge
paper from stash
floss - DMC

Here are a few pictures from the conference center that we are having our crop at. If you want to know more about the crop then click on Smoky Mountain Scrapbooking so you can check out on all the wonderful fun!

The awesome porch, I love rocking chairs on a porch!

Gorgeous stone fireplace:

and a picture of Jamie! We were able to get together for a little lunch in between all my shopping!

Well time for lunch,... ::whew::... I need a break, don't ya' think? lol

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

surprise: noun

to catch somebody or something unaware

and yes that is me with all my hair chopped off, something about birthdays spins me into a madness and usually something crazy grows back though, thank God!

I have to say that I am not often taken by surprise but tonight my friends achieved that success! I was asked over to help Nance out with her computer problems and to have dinner but in reality it was a surprise birthday celebration complete with a wonderful dinner,  delicious cake and  wonderful presents! So I want to take a moment to thank Shirley, Nancy, and Beverly for their warm and thoughtful friendship, the best present of all!

Now onto WOYWW, which I don't have a whole lot to show you, 'cause I am also packing to go on a 3 day Smoky Mountain Scrapbooking trip over in Tennessee ( My birthday gift to myself ) where I get to visit with some of my old friends and I was asked to judge the scrapbooking competition! I've never judged a competition before, so I am excited to do this!

First off, I know some of you wanted to see the wreath finished but I haven't done a darn thing to it since last week, I am going to work on making some flowers over the week end so I promise you a finished wreath by next week-end. I think, hope...I will have it completed by then....biting lower lip and crossing fingers! So my pictures today are my packing for the week -end! So here is my poor wreath, that got tossed over onto the floor, lol

shutter speed 1/15sec

The desk which has a half finished layout on it that is going to be put into the Burlap & Buttercup sketch challenge...go play along with us! Hopefully this will the first project to get finished when I get over there so I can get it posted!
shutter speed 1/15 sec. with desk light for added light exposure

Picture of my scrapbook case...either I take EVERYTHING I own and have way too much over there or I won't pack enough and will end up shopping with the vendors they have there....wonder which way I'll go this time? Any guesses ladies?
shutter speed 1/2 sec.

side note: Some of you may know I am taking a photography class ( just to prove old dogs can learn new tricks, HA! ) so I am having fun with shutter speeds again this morning. And yes, it's very early here in the US as I am writing my post, a mere 3:17am as I cannot sleep...again. So I thought I would go ahead and do my WOYWW post which means taking pictures in the semi darkness...hence the reduction of shutter speed, with the use of my tripod ( my new best friend ).

And this is a little funny for all you lovely knitters and crocheters out there, when I saw this I knew I was going to share it with you today ;) LOL....oh my! No words needed eh ladies, you know you want to knit a pair for your man!

Just because you CAN crochet something doesn't mean that you SHOULD. @jami
And finally...want to leave me a birthday wish? lol Then please, join my blog, that would be an awesome present and I sure would love that! I mean after looking at that man in his crocheted shorts, don't you want to join my blog? ;0

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pinterest: noun

is an online pinboard. Organize and share things you love

I am really, really enjoying making these wall hangings. I can make the embellishments as poofy as I want and don't have to worry about them getting smashed in my scrapbook or cost me an arm and a leg to mail them! PLUS I am using up my ever growing stash, so that's a major bonus!

Don Juan cartridge
K&Co. butterflies
Prima trim, rhinestones, flower and leaves
lace from Really Reasonable Ribbon
Glimmer Mists
Reminisce white pen
doily, twine and paper - misc.

I took the flat die cut and used my scissors to curl it so it sits "bowed out" on the sign. I took a tea bag from my cupboard and used it to get an idea of what a tea bag should look like and then took artistic liberty to add the flower, bling and sentiment to it. ;)

 The flower has 3 layers. The largest flower was in my stash, it had fallen off something along the way and since it's hard to throw away something...well...I got to finally use it :) The second layer is a doily that I cut out the center and then curled and scrunched it. The third layer is a Prima rose.

As for my camera lesson.... today, it's about using a tri pod. if you  have one, use it.! lol I get such a better job on close up shots! The picture on the left is hand held and the image on the right is tri pod. Now maybe you younger gals can  do without a tri pod, but it does help me and I'm not a  spring chicken that means reading glasses and now tri

 I got some of the ideas for this wall hanging from Pinterest ( like using that quote and words on the tea bag ) and if any of you want to be invited to join Pinterest then please let me know and I will add you to the list. But beware, Pinterest is addicting and a whole lot of fun!

So ladies, I sure hope everyone has a wonderful day, full of children that listen, bosses that appreciate you and husbands filled with love and pets that behave! Did I cover everything? ;)

Monday, February 20, 2012

brads: noun

a slender wire nail having either a small, deep head or a projection to one side of the head end

brads- Heidi Grace, Eyelet Outlet,  Stemma, and Queen & Co.
flocked cloud paper- Heidi Grace
umbrella paper - My minds Eye
Paper Dolls, Stretch Your Imagination cartridges
My Little Shoebox sticker letter
Really Reasonable Ribbon - twine
Helmars Zap dots, Liquid Scrapdots, V2 Spray

I would rather live in a sand castle wall hanging

A close up of the sand bucket. I wadded up a pinch of tissue and added glue to it, then poured "sand" on it. Then added tiny brads to the handle and adhered the handles to the bucket. I sliced the top paper so I could slide the shovel "into" the sand, added the starfish brad behind the top layer to add depth.
The trees are sanded along their sections, then crumpled and loosely adhered to paper.
I wanted to show the amount of layering the bottom section has. There are cuts to slide items into, pop dotting to add height. 

A close up of the umbrella, I set a brad in the top, I had to cut off the ends of the brad using my wire cutter so the tabs wouldn't show.

I sewed a little on the flag and used my Helmars Liquid Scrapdots for the tiny seagull. He was too small to use a pop dot and I wanted him to have a little dimension.


Now as a continuation of my journey into manual mode on my camera :) Since yesterday I experimented with shutter speeds in bright light, today I used lower shutter speeds in a room with low light. My instructor said when in doubt, start with the camera in automatic and see what the setting is and then take it down a F-stop. ( A F-stop to put it in the very simplest terms, it is the opening that lets light into your camera. )

So this was taken on automatic, which produced a flash. Shutter speed 1/40 sec. Not bad, but since my paper has shimmer, I get a glare.
Now if I stay in automatic, but remove the flash I get a grainy and less focused picture. Shutter speed 1/6 second. 
So if I use the setting for the automatic setting ( with flash ) and put it in manual mode using the shutter priority and put my shutter speed down one F-stop, shutter speed 1/30 second, then I get a darn good shot with no glare.

So, using low shutter speeds indoors can produce a well lit picture without the flash BUT you do have to bring out your tri-pod and use your timer so your hands are off the camera!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

shutter speed

In photography, shutter speed is a common term used to discuss exposure time, the effective length of time a camera's shutter is open 

So this is my very first time using my camera in manual mode! I actually took it off automatic and played around with varying shutter speeds. Now, abeit, a lot of my pictures ended up being out of focus, but that was the whole idea to learning something new, right?

In digital photography shutter speed is the length of time that your image sensor ‘sees’ the scene you’re attempting to capture. Shutter speed is measured in seconds – or in most cases fractions of seconds. The bigger the denominator the faster the speed (ie 1/1000 is much faster than 1/30).

American kestral 1/200 sec.

Screech Owl - red phase 1/125 sec.
Red Tail Hawk 1/60 sec.
( You can see here where I used a too low a shutter speed, hence the white background, but I love the light showing through his wings though, :) )
 Bald Eagle 1/200

Harris's Hawk 1/160 sec

 Barred Owl 1/200 sec. 

group picture with Michael the instructor 1/320 sec.

So what I learned today is that in bright afternoon light my shutter speed needs to be higher! A lesson learned today :)

Our photo shoot was taken at Balsam Nature Center, Slyva, NC, right off the Great Smoky Mountain Expressway on an isolated two-lane mountain road.

Friday, February 17, 2012

mission: noun

A special assignment given to a person or group

We have a new mission, for a young boy ( 7 yrs. old ) with an incurable brain cancer. My heart goes out to everyone in his family, so even though the mission was to send cards to him; I wanted to send one to his parents too. So my first card will be sent to them:
And I love how this stamp set has a stamp/die of the butterfly so you can add some dimension to an otherwise flat stamp.

H- heat embossing
E- embossing powder
R- ribbon
stamp - Our Daily Bread,
paper - NRN, Bazzil
embossing powder - American Crafts
ink- Brilliance

And this card will be sent to the little boy.
This little froggy ain't flat either!
I love making Frogs for little kids, and even though this one doesn't have a verse attached to it, it's very symbolic. In case you didn't know:
                                                                            F - fully
                                                                            R - rely
                                                                            O - on
                                                                            G - God
Paisley cartridge
Helmar Zap Dots
wood grain paper - Reminisce

And a fun squirrel update:
Some of the little buggers squirrels are really getting into the routine of me throwing a cracker down to them from my balcony. I get a kick out of the ones who look up at me, knowing they are going to get a treat!

Now if I can only figure out a way to take better pictures while talking to the squirrels, holding crackers in one hand, trying to keep my camera lens cap from dangling in front of the camera, leaning over the balcony, AND focusing all at the same time! ::whew::

And finally, I know some of you have asked me about submitting your cards for publication or in entering challenges and the fears you have about not being good enough. Well, read this, on Jocelyn's blog red balloon cards echos my thoughts exactly about submitting and hopefully will get you in the spirit to try. And in her same spirit, I will share my stamping card that I also submitted and it was rejected. You don't have to win, you just have to try!

And hey, if you go over to her blog, why not join as a follower, I am sure she appreciates it as much as I do when you follow me!